In most cases, hearing loss occurs in both ears at roughly the same rate. This means that people who visit the hearing instrument specialist with the expectation that they will need only one instrument may need to adjust their thinking. Patients with “bilateral” (two ear) hearing loss who attempt to correct the problem with only one hearing instrument are usually in for a difficult experience. Wearing only one hearing instrument can change a symmetric hearing loss into an asymmetric one and make it difficult for the brain to process sound. This is particularly so in challenging situations, such as noise-filled environments. Wearing a hearing instrument in each ear makes it easier to locate sound and understand conversation.

 

P.S. Bilateral hearing loss can be either “symmetrical” (hearing loss is about the same in both ears) or “asymmetrical” (hearing in one ear is better than in the other ear).